Dry Hydrogen Peroxide a Suitable Alternative to Formaldehyde in Hatcheries


Dr. Brian Jordan of the University of Georgia recently reported on a study funded by the U.S. Poultry Foundation comparing dry hydrogen peroxide vapor with formaldehyde in a commercial hatchery.


The project conducted over a year required hydrogen peroxide generators to be installed in the hatchery.  Bacterial fluff counts, surface contamination and the quantum of bacteria on surfaces were evaluated. 


Although there was no difference between formaldehyde fumigation and dry hydrogen peroxide with respect to three-day chick mortality, hatchability in single stage incubators was improved by 3.1 percent corresponding to the previous level using formaldehyde fogging.



The study demonstrated the potential for dry hydrogen peroxide to replace formaldehyde. There was no indication of the differential in cost between the two systems. The three percent drop in hatchability following cessation of formaldehyde and restoration with dry hydrogen peroxide seems excessive and denotes a basic problem with the hygienic aspects of egg collection and storage in the complex under study. The benefit from either method of suppressing bacterial and fungal contamination may have been more evident if seven-day mortality had been considered since chicks with omphalitis frequently survive through five days of age.